The sound of a dying ecosystem

November 12, 2014 at 11:28 am Leave a comment

This post is intended to remind us that Earth Care, one of the three ethics of permaculture, requires careful observation with all our senses if we are to get it right. 

When sound engineer Bernie Krause first visited the Lincoln Meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1988, the lush land vibrated with natural soundscapes — a sign of a healthy, thriving ecosystem.

“When I began recording over four decades ago, I could record for ten hours and capture one hour of usable material good enough for an album, a film soundtrack or museum installation,” said Krause, on the TEDGlobal stage. “Now, because of global warming, resource extraction and human noise, among other factors, it can take up to 1,000 hours or more to capture the same thing.”

One year later, he returned to record once more from the same spot. This time, all birds had gone, with the exception of one lonesome woodpecker who appears halfway through the recording.

Watch Bernie Krause’s talk on TED here.

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Entry filed under: Biodiversity.

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